New data released by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) shows that the number of apprenticeship applications rose by more than 32 percent, with a 10 percent increase in engineering and manufacturing applications.
Data from the same report shows the number of vacancies in this sector has also increased by almost 23 percent. This means the applications to vacancies ratio has dropped from 12.08 to 10.93.
This release of this data coincides with the launch of two new tools by NAS to help employers take on an apprentice – a guide to hiring an apprentice for SMEs and one for large employers.
Matthew Hancock MP, Skills Minister, said: "With more vacancies than ever before, Apprenticeships are fast becoming the norm for young people who want to achieve their career goals through an alternative route to University. We want more employers to take advantage of the advice and support available from the National Apprenticeship Service and consider how hiring an apprentice could benefit their business."
Jason Holt, entrepreneur and author of the Holt Review of Apprenticeships, said: “It is vital that we do more to demonstrate how all employers can grow their own workforce through Apprenticeships. For smaller businesses, this is even more crucial as apprentices help improve productivity while reducing costs.”
David Way, Executive Director of the National Apprenticeship Service said: “The National Apprenticeship Service aims to make it really easy for employers to hire an apprentice. The launch of these new online employer tools will further enhance the service we already offer employers – whatever their size and whatever their needs. For SMEs there is also the added incentive of £1500, to assist them in the recruitment of apprentices.”